Valerie Surette, a 30 year old Florida woman who has worked as a stripper and has a history of drug abuse, has described herself as Nick Nicholson’s sex slave.
Nicholson, a 71 year-old Republican Hernando County Commissioner, was arrested on Thursday on charges of hiring a prostitute and letting his home be used as a brothel.
“Nick Nicholson’s sex slave” answers the door
Valerie Surette spoke to journalists on Friday when she answered the door of Nicholson’s house at 4580 Tiburon Ave in Spring Hill, Florida. She said both she and her husband Kendel Surette, 32, had lived in the house with Nicholson for roughly a year.
According to Surette, she and Nicholson met at the Icon Gentlemen’s Club in nearby Hudson, Florida. Nicholson was very keen to have Surette come live in his home. “He begged me for months,” she said, “and offered me very large sums of money if I would move in and have sex with him.”
Eventually she agreed, and in exchange for accommodation and $300 a week Nicholson was allowed to have sex with Surette on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In addition to being what she described as Nick Nicholson’s sex slave, Valerie Surette was able to use Nicholson’s home to “host” other sex clients, normally on a mattress in the garage or in cars parked in the driveway.
Although the arrangement was originally consensual, Surette had no problem describing herself as Nick Nicholson’s sex slave.
“I had originally agreed to the arrangement,” she said. “I did work at a strip club, but that’s different. Here, I was a sex slave. … Whatever he wanted, I had to do…If I didn’t kiss him or touch him or sit on his lap, he would get angry.”
Surette claims that another female stripper, Mellinda Baker, 38, also lived in the Spring Hill house up until a few months ago and that in exchange for rent and rehab bills Nicholson had sex with Baker on Mondays and Wednesdays.
A domestic disturbance leads to Nicholson’s arrest
Police were called to Nicholson’s home on February 20th following reports of a domestic disturbance. According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s department:
“Upon arrival, deputies met with the female victim, Valerie Surette, in the doorway of the residence. The victim told deputies she had been involved in a heated verbal altercation with her husband, Kendel Surette, and he threw a screwdriver at her, hitting her in the face.
“Deputies noted that both of the Surettes had red, glassy eyes and slurred speech, indicating they were under the influence of an unknown substance…
“During the investigation, information was obtained regarding allegations of additional criminal activity occurring within the residence and/or involving persons living in the residence. As a result of said allegations, the case was turned over to Hernando County Vice and Narcotics Unit.”
After a complete and thorough investigation by the unit, Nicholson was charged on counts relating to owning, maintaining or operating an establishment of prostitution and “purchasing the services of any person engaged in prostitution,” and arrested.
Bail was set for Nicholson at $3,000, and he was out shortly after his arrest. Since then he has refused to answer questions from the media.
Calls for Nicholson to resign
Fellow commissioner and local Republican leader John Allocco said in a statement:
“As the chairman of the Hernando County Republican Party we have had concerns about his behavior for years going as far as passing a 2015 resolution asking him to resign and not run for re-election. I wish that he would have taken our advice and used his time as an opportunity to straighten his life out. Whatever the outcome, please know that I will do whatever is necessary to make sure Hernando County has a positive future.”
Governor Rick Scott is empowered to dismiss elected officials who have engaged in malfeasance and misfeasance. His spokesperson McKinley Lewis told the Tampa Bay Times, “Governor Scott expects all elected officials to behave ethically and responsibility. Our office is aware of this and reviewing the details.”
But one group of people who does not need to wait to make up their mind are Nicholson’s neighbors.
Sheli Dile, who moved next door to Nicholson a few months before the arrival of the Surettes, told the Times, “There are kids in the neighborhood, and she’s out servicing Johns in the driveway. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going on.”
Another neighbor, neighbor Connie Rasbach, is sympathetic to Nicholson’s personal problems, but thinks he should resign as commissioner of Hernando County.
“He needs help — and I wish he would get it — but he needs to leave his job to do it. We need [commissioners] who are going to help our community, not make it worse.”